General Article ‘Protorexia’: can a protein-heavy diet become an unhealthy obsession?

Topic Selected: Eating Disorders

Why are you really using protein shakes?

By Rachel Moss

When eaten as part of a balanced diet, protein allows our body to grow and repair itself. But is there a risk of becoming obsessed with protein to the extent that behaviour becomes symptomatic of an eating disorder?

The term ‘protorexia’ has been coined to describe an unhealthy fixation with protein-heavy foods and supplements, such as protein shakes and chicken.

According to the numerous news outlets and bloggers writing on the subject, those suffering also tend to cut out foods they deem “unhealthy”, such as carbs, in a bid to lose weight or build muscle. 

The term has been linked to orthorexia – a condition defined as an “unhealthy obsession with healthy eating”, which has yet to be formally recognised as an eating disorder. 

According to eating disorders charity Beat, much like ‘orthorexia’,

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